Azara Blog: New electricity transmission lines in Scotland

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Date published: 2005/10/02

The BBC says:

Plans to erect huge power pylons across Scotland have been attacked by the Ramblers Association in Scotland, who claimed they would be "disastrous".

Scottish and Southern Energy plans to upgrade electricity pylons from Beauly near Inverness to Denny close to Falkirk with 600 pylons, some 67m high.

SSE spokesman Alan Young said the new power line was essential.

But Cameron McNeish, RAS president, said it would spoil a remote and environmentally sensitive area.

Part of the proposed line runs through the Cairngorms National Park.

The firm plans 200 fewer pylons than present, but they would be larger.

SSE said the pylon line would ship power produced by new wind farms and hydro schemes in the Highlands and islands to customers further south.

Mr McNeish said it was concerned the SSE would create an "energy highway" in a remote area.

"This massive upgrade would be disastrous for the region," he added.

"The result of this increase in transmission capacity will be to encourage even more giant wind turbines to seek connection to it in order to feed energy junkies down south."

As sure as night follows day, transmission lines follow new sources of electricity. The Ramblers are largely urban and middle class, and these are the very same "junkies" who will consume much of this energy. Hardly anybody likes the look of electricity pylons and that is no doubt what McNeish means by "spoil", but it's about time the UK middle class grows up and understands that not every remote area has to look like a Victorian postcard. Transmission lines do not have to cause much (real) damage to the land they pass over (it depends, of course, on how they are installed and maintained).

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